The following is a review of Georgia, the tier IX premium American battleship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. Please be aware that though this represents the release version of the ship, her statistics may change in the future. To the best of my knowledge, these stats are accurate as of patch 0.8.4.
Let’s talk weird.
Georgia has been blessed by Wargaming’s Box o’ Gimmicks, having been gifted not once, not twice, not thrice, but on FOUR (fice?) separate occasions! That’s a lot of miracles crammed into one ship. Several questions immediately popped into my mind when I saw this:
- Why does she need so many gimmicks?
- Shouldn’t she have simply been made tier VIII instead?
- Do I have to clumsily micromanage these things in order to make this abomination work?
- Do these gimmicks have any kind of broken synergy which makes them useless or overpowered?
I hope this review sufficiently answers these questions.
- 457mm guns deal some of the largest hits per shell in the game.
- Improved dispersion and fast reload time on her main battery guns.
- Powerful secondary armament with improved range and accuracy.
- Heavy anti-aircraft firepower.
- Fast with a top speed of 33 knots and access to an improved Engine Boost consumable.
- Shorter reset timer on her Repair Party consumable.
- Smallish hit point pool for a tier IX battleship.
- Only six main battery guns, making the occasional bad dispersion really hurt.
- Lower main battery DPM than her contemporaries.
- Slow gun traverse.
- Secondaries lack penetration to deal damage to most targets.
- Requires her own commander with a lot of skill points to unlock her full potential, limiting her use as a trainer.
Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL/ Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme
Six guns, a vulnerable citadel and too much speed is a recipe for trouble for inexperienced players, never mind Georgia’s high tier. Still, her guns are big, precise and fast-firing. Her secondaries are insane. She angles well. Keep far enough back and Georgia will largely keep you out of trouble.
For expert players, Georgia is Massachusetts on drugs. She trades a bit of twirl and a bit of torpedo defense for better firepower (warning sign #1) and extra speed (warning sign #2). Flexibility and firepower in a single package is always a dangerous combination. Georgia just doesn’t have the concealment to complete the trifecta.
On the whole, Georgia is very comfortable to play — maybe too comfortable.
– Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
– No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
Georgia has some oddities packed into her consumables.
There are two consumables which stand out here. Her Repair Party and her Engine Boost.
- Georgia’s Damage Control Party is standard for an American battleship. It has a 20s up time, unlimited charges and a 120s / 80s reset timer.
- Her Repair Party is non standard. Oh, you still get the three base charges and heal up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds. She also queues damage normally (50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of everything else). Where she differs is her reset timer which is shorter than the 120s/80s normally found on American battleships. Instead, she shares Massachusetts’ (and Gascogne’s) 60s / 40s reset timer.
- In slot number 3, you’ve got the choice between a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. Both versions are standard with the former having three base charges, a 100s action time and a six minute / four minute reset timer. The latter has two charges base, summons four fighters which patrol a 3km radius around the ship for 60s. It has a 135s / 90s reset timer.
- And most strangely, Georgia has an Engine Boost consumable, and an improved one to boot! This is the same version found on the tier X French battleship Bourgogne. She gets a whopping 15% boost to her maximum speed for three minutes. This starts with two charges base and comes with a 180s / 120s reset timer.
Oh boy, a high tier ship — these are always a lot more work. Let’s go through the recommended upgrades. You’ll note a complete lack of anti-aircraft modificiations — this is owing to AA power still being quite volatile as of patch 0.8.4. They may well become worth it in the future but at the time of writing this, they don’t contribute enough to be worth taking.
- Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.
- You have a choice in your second slot, with the special upgrade Engine Boost Modification 1 being optimal if you have access to it. If you don’t, default to Damage Control Modification 1 for that fire and flooding resistance.
- Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 is optimal for your third slot. However, if you want to have a MANLY build, go for Secondary Guns Modification 1.
- Damage Control Modification 2 is your best choice (and I daresay the only choice) for your fourth slot.
- Similarly, Concealment Modification 1 is the only upgrade worth considering for your fifth slot.
- And finally the debate rages between DPM and Dispersion in slot six. I generally recommend Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2 over Main Battery Modification 3, favouring accuracy over rate of fire, but the choice is yours.
Georgia comes with Type 10 Camouflage – Georgia, providing 100% bonus experience gains, reduces surface detection by 3%, increases dispersion of enemy fire by 4% and reduces service costs by 20%.
Main Battery: Six 457mm/47 rifles in 3×2 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery: Twenty 127mm/38s guns in 10×2 turrets with five on either side of the superstructure. Per side, three face forward and two rearward.
Important Parts First (for once)
Georgia is armed with six 457mm guns. These are the largest caliber of battleship guns found on the American tech tree and the hardest hitting AP shells currently in the game. Move over Yamato, Thunderer and Kremlin. ‘Murica’s throwing it’s weight around and quite literally in this case:
Georgia’s AP shells are enormous — a full 19.5% more massive than Yamato’s. This comes with a huge spike damage though it doesn’t correspond with an increase in penetration. Of the 18+ inch guns, Georgia’s penetration is the weakest of the four, sitting just behind Thunderer’s (currently WiP) shells. This isn’t to say that her AP penetration is bad — it’s still phenomenal. It just doesn’t top the charts. On a hit per hit basis, though, Georgia’s AP shells are truly monstrous.
That said, her HE shells are disappointing, but not unexpected. American battleship HE shells have never been inspiring. Her fire chance per hit is middling and her damage per shell is impressive enough so long as you don’t look at any of the other 18 inch guns where she sits in fourth place. Georgia’s definitely a battleship where you want to lean upon her AP shells as much as possible.
It’s just a shame she only has six guns.
The First Blessing
The Community laid their eyes upon Georgia’s main armament and became morose. “These guns suck butt (except they didn’t say butt)! They are not 460mm! And there are only six of them!” they cried. The community succumbed to despair, this ship would not be good. It would not even be meh. And lo, the Box o’ Gimmicks gave unto Georgia her first miracle: the power of Large Cruiser dispersion so that her guns might actually hit something.
Six guns means that Georgia does indeed suck much butt when it comes to putting out the damages. When bow tanking, she’s firing only four guns. Even with her accelerated reload of 26s (vs a nominal 30s for most battleships) she doesn’t hold pace against other battleships. Now, Wargaming could have shortened her reload further. Heck, they could have given her improved autobounce angles on her AP shells. Instead they delved into their Box o’ Gimmicks and pulled out an improvement to her dispersion instead.
In theory Georgia should land more hits per volley than her contemporaries, allowing her to close the gap in damage output with her main battery guns. This does bring up the question of upgrades to use. Generally speaking, I tend to favour dispersion-improving upgrades over range or rate of fire, but in Georgia’s case, she already has improved dispersion. A good argument could be made that because she doesn’t benefit as much from Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2 as other high-tier American battleships, Main Battery Modification 3 with its improvement to her rate of fire is the better choice. Both are means to an end: scoring more hits over time. I still have to give my preference to improved dispersion — if only for smacking cheeky lolibotes around and for sniping teaboos blind in their smoke.
Still, it’s not like she doesn’t have a backup when it comes to hurting small, squishy targets…
The Second(ary) Blessing
The Box o’ Gimmicks decreed that henceforth playing battleships at close range was to be praised (unless Soviet). And the Box o’ Gimmicks decreed that to this end, Georgia would have better secondaries than the German battleships. And it so it was done. And it was hella broke. And lo did Massachusetts high-fiveth Georgia while Bismarck and Tirpitz and the rest of the high-tier Kriegsmarine wept. In nomine maximum vici brawlium.
Georgia’s secondaries don’t move the goal post, so much as ensure that German battleships secondaries have no chance of being considered the pinnacle without some serious buffs. Before Georgia’s arrival, excuses could have be made that Massachusetts was an anomaly. However, Georgia’s secondaries have made this level of performance an institution, dethroning the German battleships without question. “Good” secondaries are now defined by Georgia and Massachusetts’ level of range, rate of fire and accuracy. German and French battleships now merely have “average” secondaries and everyone else has crap.
Still, Georgia’s secondaries aren’t perfect (hella good as they are). There are two things bad about them.
- Their HE penetration isn’t great.
- They’re sometimes a little too accurate.
Adhering to the nominal 1/6th of shell diameter in millimeters of penetration, Georgia’s 127mm/38s can only punch through 21mm worth of armour. They require the use of the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to make them a credible threat against anything other than the lightest of light cruisers and destroyers. Once buffed, they can engage up to and including German and American heavy cruisers as well as tier VII battleships. So spending skill points, however expensive, can largely correct the first issue.
The second issue is a bit more complicated. There’s such a thing as “too much” accuracy where secondaries are concerned.
Automated guns aim for the waterline of their targets — ostensibly to attempt to cause citadel hits. Never mind the foolishness of trying to citadel anything with HE shells at mid to high tiers, the fact remains that if secondaries were 100% accurate, they’d be dumping their shells into the belt armour of their targets without fail. When engaging destroyers, this is effectively a non-issue as the vast majority do not exceed 19mm worth of armour in this area. However, this all but guarantees that any well aimed shots that are catapulted from secondaries will strike and shatter uselessly against belt armour when facing cruisers, carriers or battleships.
Thankfully, the inaccuracy of secondaries means that at when hits are landed, they tend to scatter all over the target making it more likely for them to strike squishy bits and stack a fire or two. However, once the commander skill Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament comes into play, Georgia becomes a little too accurate at very close ranges. Where she might effectively chew through the hit points of a cruiser at 6km, you suddenly face a string of non-stop shatters inside of 4.5km. Generally speaking, if you’ve gotten that close to a battleship or cruiser, one of you has made a serious mistake. On the whole, this is a very minor complaint and won’t affect combat often.
Fully upgraded, Georgia’s secondaries present every bit the same level of nightmare of Massachusetts’s own (with a bit better fire arcs to boot). Their high shell flight arcs make them surprisingly effective at punishing ships trying to hide behind islands — even allowing Georgia herself to play the role of an American light cruiser and fire from behind cover or concealment. Her secondaries do not create any vision penalties when firing through smoke, allowing her to remain concealed and hose down enemies. Take full advantage. Getting Georia within secondary distance completely changes the nature of an engagement and it’s here she truly excels.
Deceptively Well Armed
Georgia may only have six guns, but their accuracy, their rate of fire and the backup (and versatility) of her secondaries makes her a surprising contender for one of the better armed battleships at tier IX. She easily outmatches Friedrich der Große (which is admittedly not difficult) and I rate the combination of her armaments better than those of Iowa, Izumo, Missouri, Lion and Sovetsky Soyuz. She’s two main-battery guns away from being overpowered in this regard.
However, this assessment only holds water if, and only if, you can bring her secondaries to bear. Yes, with her secondaries blazing into a target, the combination of Georgia’s main battery and secondary battery firepower is phenomenal and among the best at her tier. But let’s be realistic: You’re not always going to be able to pull this off. There will be plenty of frustrating games where you have to play the more typical role of long range support. And in those instances, her six main battery guns just doesn’t compete.
- Big guns but not enough of them.
- Awesome secondaries but requiring a lot of investment to make them work.
- Used in combination, her firepower is overpowered. On their own (or without the needed upgrades), they’re only middling to poor.
Hit Points: 74,100
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm
Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm to 38mm anti-torpedo bulge + 297mm citadel wall
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 26%
Georgia’s protection scheme largely conforms to the norms set by the Iowa-class in World of Warships. Given her pedigree, this makes a whole lot of sense — who’d have thought? Here’s what that summarizes to:
- All-or-Nothing armour protection without any extended waterline belts.
- Anti-torpedo bulges are present, but their protection is generally crappy (because reasons).
- Improved upper hull and deck armour amidships.
- Relatively thin internal belt relative to other battleships, but steeply angled.
- Vulnerable 16mm armoured “hole” to the citadel roof over the machine spaces highly vulnerable to overmatch.
Depending on what’s shooting at you, Georgia holds up pretty well. She’s reasonably tanky against HE spamming cruisers with that chunk of 38mm armour amidships and her anti-torpedo voids able to shatter and absorb hits with trollish inconsistency. Sadly, that lack of extended belt means that her bow and stern are super-big, squishy targets to farm damage off of.
Against AP shells, particularly large caliber ones, she doesn’t hold up as well. Oh, she’s got that tier VIII+ 32mm bow to let her face tank for days (until she plays against a Yamato-class), but she’s not brainless. If she’s caught broadside, she’ll give away citadel hits. This makes jousting quite dangerous which is a shame for a ship with such great secondaries. Just remember: Brawl = yes. Joust = no. Those side-on passes will end your duel with an explosive climax unless you can bait your opponent into blowing his load early.
The Third Blessing
And lo did the Box o’ Gimmicks see that Georgia’s badonkadonk was not forever topped off with a lush harvest of hit points. Thus did the Box o’ Gimmicks bequeath onto her a Repair Party with a shorter reset timer. And so it was that her hit points were made continually bountiful and ripe for damage farming. The Royal Navy battleships with their HE spam did rejoice. Mus Latine iniit nefandae atrocitatis est.
Georgia has a Repair Party with a reset timer that’s slashed in half. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this Gimmick manifest, having first appeared with the French battleship Gascogne early last year and repeated on both iterations of Massachusetts. There’s no other bonus applied to her consumable here — no bonus damage queuing, no extra health being healed back, no improved citadel repair — it’s simply getting access to those charges sooner. This makes the Superintendent commander skill particularly worth while on this ship. While other battleships might struggle to make use of the maximum of five charges of their respective Repair Party, Georgia has no such difficulties.
So, while Georgia might seem to have fewer hit points than some of her contemporaries, she functionally ends up with more in most scenarios because she can more efficiently make use of her heals. That’s pretty good. It’s not really enough to get excited over. As Box o’ Gimmicks miracles go, it’s useful at least.
What it would have needed to be : It’s a close thing — Georgia almost ended up with a rating here with her low hit point total and not-especially chunkular armour. Her Repair Party saved her.
Top Speed: 33 knots
Port Turning Radius: 890m
Rudder Shift Time: 16.5s
4/4 Engine Speed Rotation Rate: 4.3º/s
The Fourth and Final Blessing
Long have the Freeaboos whined that their Iowa-class was not reaching the vaunted speeds they had achieved historically. And the Box o’ Gimmicks said: “Hold my beer.”
Now here’s where Georgia excels. Or should I say “accels”?
Bad attempts at punnery aside, it’s no secret that I value speed in my warships. Georgia ingratiated herself in my esteem by sporting not only a high top speed, but a ridiculous Engine Boost consumable too.
Let’s dissect this consumable for a moment. It over-performs. It would have been one thing had Georgia ended up with a standard Engine Boost, like those found on a destroyer. You would expect an 8% bonus to top speed to be more than enough to make Georgia stand out from the pack. After all, this is what we see on the likes of the high tier French battleships like Jean Bart and République. But nope, they stuck a mid-tier French cruiser version of the consumable on Georgia, providing a 15% speed boost! Fifteen percent! What the Hell!? Move over Bourgogne! With her consumable active, Georgia tops out at 37.9 knots for three minute stints (four and a half with the Engine Boost Modification 1 upgrade).
But what really gets me? The Sierra Mike signal nudges this number oh-so close to that delicious 40 knot value but never quite reaches it which is all kinds of infuriating! It makes my eye twitch just thinking about it! The closest I got was a brief flicker of 39.8 knots. THIRTY NINE POINT EIGHT. ARGLBARGL! GIMME MY BIG ROUND NUMBER!
After Mouse Mollifies her Mammaries
What’s surprising about Georgia for such a fast ship is that her handling isn’t bad. It’s not clumsy like her Iowa-sisters, whose agility is as cringe-worthy as a nice-guy pickup lines. Her rudder may take a while to come about, but her turning radius isn’t appalling and she has a good rate of rotation for a battleship of her size. This unfortunately leads to her second flaw when it comes to agility (the first being her rudder shift time): She out turns her main battery traverse. Expert Marksman is necessary to keep guns on station while coming about and even that won’t save you if you take Main Battery Modification 3 to increase her rate of fire.
Now if this all sounds very exciting, I remind you all that tier IX battleships are NOT agile by any stretch of the definition. They may be fast, but the meta will often preclude you from being able to take full advantage of that speed. You’re more likely to spend most of the game with your anchor dropped and making woo with an island than you are to be flirting with forty knots.
What’s more, your high top speed is more likely to get you INTO trouble, especially if you’ve got a full secondary build discussed earlier. You’re visible from further out, your guns are shorter ranged and you’re going to be the first target focused when you outstrip the slower (and marginally more stealthy) battleships coming up from behind.
Georgia’s great agility is not likely going to do you much good. This isn’t a game-winning trait. It’s merely “nice to have.”
Long Ranged (5.8km-3.5km): 260 damage every 2.37s and 8 explosions at 1,540 damage.
Medium Ranged (3.5km-1.5km): 564 damage every 0.53s and 9 explosions at 980damage.
Short Ranged (1.5km to 0.1km: 652 damage every 0.34s.
There’s a lot I want to say here but it’s not likely to be relevant for very long. So I’m just going to kinda bow out of this one after leaving you with the following:
Georgia’s AA power is “good” for a battleship — whatever that means in the current meta. She’s not as good as Iowa or Missouri or Jean Bart though, but she’s not far behind.
The Box o’ Gimmicks passed Georgia over here and blessed Thunderer instead. Moving on.
Base Surface Detection: 16.92km
Air Detection Range: 11.3km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 13.29km
Detection Range when Firing in Smoke: 17.97km
Main Battery Firing Range: 20.04km
Georgia wins no prizes for concealment. I had hoped that with her smaller hit point total, she might get away with having improved surface detection but that wasn’t the case. Stock, she can be seen 700m further away than either of the Iowa-class sisters, though she gains on them with aerial detection with a 100m advantage. This places her squarely in the “disappointingly average” range for tier IX battleships and on the large side for battleships within her matchmaking spread. Her concealment isn’t tragic like some Japanese battleships, but you’re not hiding her easily.
Furthermore, her large gun caliber precludes her from making use of smoke in any reasonable capacity. She’s visible from almost 18km out when firing her main battery through concealment — it’s almost like it’s not even there. Still, don’t dismiss smoke’s use entirely. Her secondaries incur no such penalty which can be quite hilarious when you get the opportunity to exploit it. Just beware of the fish they’ll invariably send to dig you out.
Special mention should be made about a full secondary (MANLY) build though. Between Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, Advanced Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament, this doesn’t leave enough skill points for Concealment Expert. Furthermore, if you’re going hardcore with full secondaries, this also precludes you from taking Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 which caps out your range too. The net result is a bigger, fatter Georgia with less reach — more likely to be spotted first and focused first as a result.
How to Make Georgia Howl
One of the drawbacks about Georgia is that she’s not a very good USN battleship trainer. Like Massachusetts before her, she really only excels if you go out of your way to specialize her secondary build. This comes at the expense of more ubiquitous skills for other American battleships, such as Fire Prevention and Basics of Survivability.
You can get away without using any survivability skills at all, eschewing even the use of Superintendent if you wish to go hog wild buffing her secondaries to the nines. Braver players than I have done so and done well with it. Personally, I go with a combination of the red and yellow chalk circles listed above. But feel free to sub in some of the blue skills as you will.
Georgia is Massachusetts on drugs.
If you think of Georgia as a tier IX Massachusetts, you’re not that far off. The two ships have a lot in common (including the need for their own specific commander). Georgia has some pretty obvious improvements over Massachusetts but she pays for it by being slapped into a tier IX slot. The best you could say about Georgia balance-wise over Massachusetts is that Georgia doesn’t get to club tier VIs. However, she does see tier VIIs and it’s just as bad of a pummeling as Massachusetts delivers to ships two tiers beneath her.
Having only six guns with a 26s reload is meant to reign Georgia in, the same way 1.7 sigma was supposed to reign in Massachusetts. Even I mistook Massachusetts’ reduced gunnery optimization as being sufficient a limiting factor to keep her in line and dismissed her secondaries as merely being “fun” (Mehbote my butt). I’m not making that mistake again. know what Georgia is capable of. The only question in my head is if she can pull off those shenanigans consistently enough to be a problem child like Massachusetts. I’m leaning towards “very yes”.
As a tier IX reward premium she’s in good company. It’s not like Missouri, Musashi or Jean Bart are stupidly powerful ships, right? The big key to Georgia’s potential is having a commander with a minimum of 14 skill points available (and 18+ preferably). Once her secondaries are fully buffed, she really begins flexing her muscles and she becomes a threat that really needs to be taken seriously.
Yes, Georgia does have her weak spots. In a game where she can’t play dynamically, she’s as dull as dishwater. Furthermore, for a ship that likes close-range fights as much she does, she does NOT joust well. She just doesn’t have the alpha strike of other ships and her exposed citadel sets you up for some humiliating encounters.
The biggest drawback I see with Georgia is that she’s not different enough from Massachusetts to excite me. She is to Massachusetts what Bourgogne is to Jean Bart — more of the same, buffed and stuffed into a higher tier. If you have one already, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to collect the second unless you’ve got nothing else to do. Don’t get me wrong, Massachusetts (and Jean Bart) are amazing ships and very powerful. By extension Georgia (and Bourgogne) are amazing ships and very powerful. But the differences between them aren’t enough to make the higher tiered version an automatic buy IMO.
So let’s finish this off by answering the questions I asked at the start of this review:
- Why does she need so many gimmicks?Two of her gimmicks are carried over from Massachusetts (Repairs, Secondaries). Of the other two, her main battery dispersion is there to make her guns competitive against her tier IX counterparts. Her Engine Boost gimmick isn’t really necessary at all and is just “nice to have”.
- Shouldn’t she have simply been made tier VIII instead?Probably. Pick two of the gimmicks and ditch the other pair and she would have been as well balanced as Massachusetts.
- Do I have to clumsily micromanage these things in order to make this abomination work?Nope. You can largely forget that she has an Engine Boost. Secondary management can be a bit clumsy if you’re not used to right clicking targets as soon as they come into range, but generally speaking Georgia is very comfortable to play.
- Do these gimmicks have any kind of broken synergy which makes them useless or overpowered?Heh, this is where her Engine Boost actually shines. When an opportunity arises, you can use her boost to spring into position which is hella cool. It does make her secondaries a little more viable and reduces the impact of the relatively short range of her main battery guns.So yeah, hella OP.
Would I Recommend?
You have two options for grabbing Georgia. The first, you can spend All-of-the-Money in the online shop. Alternatively, you can pick her up in the arsenal for Coal. I guess Lert’s and my concern that tier IX premiums being sold for cash would become commonplace after Jean Bart has been addressed…
For PVE Battles?
Yes. Georgia does just fine in PVE battles. The constant charge of the bots ensures you’ll get to use her secondaries in every single match. Just be careful of jousting some of the battleships.
For Random Battle Grinding?
Yes with a big ol’ butt. Georgia is hella strong, she’s just not a great commander trainer. She’ll earn you bank and you can almost guarantee to hoover up a Close Quarters Expert medal after just a handful of games.
For Competitive Gaming?
Yes with another big ol’ butt. While she lacks long range striking power, she has the versatility to more than make up for any disparity there. I just don’t see tier IX becoming a likely arena for competitive anytime soon, so yeah…
No. The only thing about her that was built in steel was a single gun barrel.
For her Fun-Factor?
Yes. This kind of game play was tried and tested with Massachusetts.
What’s the Final Verdict?
How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?
- GARBAGE– I hate it!
- Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable.
- Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it.
- OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it!
If you can’t tell, this isn’t my review of Lenin. That one was well underway before I got word that Georgia was coming. I thought if I switched right away that I might be able to get this review done on time for the release. I almost made it. Almost. For those concerned, I’m doing much better health-wise. I’ll be trying to catch up on my backlog over the coming weeks.